Be yourself. I know that’s so clichéd it’s nearly insulting, but people do forget. If there are those to whom God says, “I never knew you,” it means they never allowed him to speak to who they truly are, and acted like someone or something other than who they were meant to be. I believe the verse, “be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48) means to become whole, complete, and mature in him. Somewhere along the line we started preaching it as “fake it ’til you make it.”
The religious spirit wants to make you obsessed with maintaining appearances at all costs, so you won’t allow yourself to be honest and real. The less you allow yourself to discover and become the true you, the further away from whole you’ll be. You never do “make it,” and your life gets spent exhaustively striving to emulate the image (idol?) you think God and people expect. The irony of the digital age is the desire for authentic voices. Be real. Be open to God. Allow him to speak to every part of your heart and mind. Make yourself vulnerable to his love, and you’ll be far less vulnerable to people’s judgments.
That’s one of the greatest joys of your life in Christ—knowing you don’t have to face anything or anyone without him. It’s safe to unmask, and learn to live from his presence as the real you. Your circumstances want you to focus on them from the moment you wake up. Don’t give in to them. Don’t jump right into their complex and draining demands. Begin your day—or restart it—with the energizing, transforming truths you can see from standing at Jesus’ side. Start with the ever–deepening revelation that you are loved. Completely, wildly, eternally loved. From there, you can handle anything brilliantly as the person God sees you as.
“The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by appearance . . . for I don’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but I look at the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7).